Alou Kuol eyeing Socceroos family reunion

VFB Stuttgart

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Ask VfB Stuttgart striker Alou Kuol to ponder the prospect of lining up alongside gifted younger brother Garang in a Socceroos shirt, and the 21 year-old attacker grins: “Getting us together (for the national team) - that could be dangerous!”

At just 17, Central Coast Mariners wonder-kid Garang ignited Sydney’s Stadium Australia with a breathtaking cameo in the A-Leagues All Stars’ 3-2 loss to Barcelona in May to all but guarantee he will follow Alou to Europe.

Both siblings have been mentioned as possible bolters for Australia coach Graham Arnold’s squad for this month’s home-and-away Centenary clashes against New Zealand.

It probably won’t happen in this window (for varying reasons) but It’s a safe bet the duo with the South Sudanese heritage, and a disarming swagger to match their potential, aren’t far off.

Alou, the second eldest of six brothers, is making steadfast progress as he gets up to speed and smoothes the rough edges in the city famous for manufacturing sleek Porsche and Mercedes machines. 

He’s found himself in two match-day squads this season, without yet landing a senior debut.

The Australia U-23 breakout recruit remains a regular starter for Stuttgart II, having signed for the Bundesliga side from the Mariners 14 months back.

A similar template is unfolding for Garang: instant impact, goals and plaudits on the domestic front followed by reported offshore interest from the likes of Barcelona (impressed by his fearless display against it), Newcastle United and Chelsea. 

The precocious talent turns 18 on 15 September, and will almost certainly depart Gosford at the turn of the year, with younger brother Didi next on Mariners production line.

Alou had a loan spell at 2. Bundesliga SV Sandhausen earlier this year, making a single league appearance, and he knows the road is long.

“Every week here it’s a new chance to improve and progress - I’ve come to Germany with the mindset of proving myself in a demanding environment. Until then I’ve done nothing,” he said. “Of course I believe in myself - if I didn’t then there wouldn’t be any point in being here.

“I could have stayed back in Australia (in the A-League) chilling out. But that’s not what I want to do.

“I’m just working to get to the next level and to take it higher and higher.

“I’m happy to have had that chance to play with the national team (at June’s U-23 Asian Cup where he made headlines with a scorpion kick stunner against Iraq).

“The Socceroos is a big aim of mine but at the same time I need to stay focused on my football here. if I perform well here then all the (national team) opportunities will come.”

The rise of Garang has his brother doing cartwheels.

“It’s good to see Garang going well, working hard and doing all the right things, he’s alright (as a player) isn’t he!

“He’s a different style to me but gets the job done also - he’s got qualities which I think he’ll be able to bring to Europe (at some point).

“I haven’t seen too many 17 year olds do what he’s done, so of course he can succeed (in a big league).

“I was watching him on my iPad playing against Barcelona and was jumping up and down screaming.

“Get us together in the Socceroos starting eleven and it could be dangerous - it hasn’t happened yet but it will be cool if one day it does.”

Meanwhile, Alou is buckling down and embracing a steep learning curve at the club sitting 14th with five points - all draws - six games into the new Bundesliga season.

“I’m going alright - I’m just working hard and doing all I can to get a chance to get a game,” he said. “I just need to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and be ready to take it when it comes.

“I’m not too dissimilar to what I was at the Mariners but the work rate here is a big thing.

“I feel my finishing is a bit sharper - that comes with training alongside top players. 

“The next step is to hopefully get first team minutes in a tough league.”


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